History teaches us that a challenge to a superior power can succeed only by changing the rules under which any confrontation takes place. Head-on attacks on strong, entrenched positions are easily repelled. That's why RCA, Honeywell, Xerox, General Electric, Burroughs, Univac, Amdahl and many others failed when they tried to compete with IBM. That's why the computing landscape over the past 15 years has become littered with so many gravestones of firms overcome by Microsoft. Now a new Microsoft challenger is emerging on the horizon: Google. What makes Google different is that it follows innovative rules as it carves out a share of the IT business. Google's emerging strategy may give us a clue as to who may be bidding for IT leadership in our uncertain industry by the end of this decade.